Monday, April 2, 2012

The 1940 U.S. Census on

Even before the release of the 1940 United States Census on the National Archives site, was adding images to their web site for a number of states.  As of 11:30 a.m. PDT today, there are 14 states or territories with images completely or partially added to the site.  The addition of images by town and county appears to be dynamic - more are added every hour.

I wanted to take a look at the process that can be used to find the 1940 US census images on

Did I mention that these records are FREE for any researcher to use until the end of 2013?   As are all of's other 1940s era databases until 10 April 2012.

Please note that you still have to find the Enumeration District (ED) of your target families using the NARA ED Maps, Google Maps and the Steve Morse Unified 1940 ED Finder.

Here is what I've found:

1)  The 1940 U.S. Census page is at

2)  On this page, the user can select a state from the dropdown menu:

3)  I selected California, and then selected a County:

Note that when I made the screen above, there were only a few counties available.

4)  I chose Los Angeles county, and then chose Beverly Hills from the dropdown list from the "Populated Place" list:

5)  I chose District 19-36 from the list of Enumeration Districts, and saw the first image of the pages for that district:

That took all of about 15 seconds for me to do...

The user can zoom in or out using the mouse scroll wheel, the zoom bar in the upper right-hand corner of the image, or the small zoom plus/minus icons on the menu bar above the image.  The user can move around the image using the left mouse button (I call it the "magic hand").  The user can save the page image, or print the page image.

Navigation to another page is done by using the left or right arrows, or by typing a page number in the Page box, in the menu bar above the image. has found a way to bring the 1940 United States Census to a large number of researchers in a short period of time.  I applaud them for their efforts.

My hope is that they get to San Diego and San Francisco counties later today!

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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